View Full Version : Wedge's Experience

03-07-12, 3:55 pm
For the last several years I have heard about The Cage. All the craziness. All the weight being moved. All the camaraderie. I've always wanted to make it, but was unable to for various reasons. That is until this year. My Christmas present was tickets and airfare to the Arnold. Except, to be honest, I did not see it that way. I only saw tickets and airfare to The Cage.

I flew in Thursday morning, got settled at the hotel and found out that I would be at the mercy of a shuttle to and from the expo, since my hotel (booked last minute due to other hotel issues) was about 20 minutes away from the expo. A note of thanks and a shout out to new friend Domichi for offering to give me a ride back every day if need be. Appreciated the offer bro.
Found a place for dinner then hit up the Metro and got in a shoulder session with Trebin. We put some work in. Talked to Rage and Higa and was impressed that Rage remembered me from the Iron Contest II. Higa and I talked about how he was going to kill me on Saturday.

Friday-Woke early and made friends with some of the people from the hotel that were on the shuttle with me. They gave me the lowdown on the expo and we hung out until the doors opened. I got in and made a beeline for The Cage. Got two of the LE black shirts (one for The Rhino as I owe him since he hooked me up last year and he could not make the trip this year) and a hat. Got in The Cage and was a little timid for some reason, more reserved than I should have been or wanted to.
Hit up Metro that night and trained arms alone.

Saturday-Back at it, open to close. Moved around a bit, but due to the crowds and such spent a lot of my time at The Cage. got to talking and joking around with people and had a blast. Watched some Animals blast some weight and make 1,000 lb squat look like nothing. Was able to catch some of the strongman events. That was a blast as I like to think of myself as a strongman wannabe (I have done a few contests for charity and have on legit contest under my belt thus far. More to come). I was pulling for Poundstone, as he's a local cop in my town of Naugatuck. I also caught some fencing and witnessed a world record clean and jerk. As a big MMA fan i was psyched to almost literally bump into Matt Hughes in front of The Cage and see people like Forrest Griffin, Randy Couture and others. I also noticed these guys were not walking around with security. Then again, who in there right mind would fuck with these guys? Was also able to watch the weigh-ins for that nights Strikeforce fight.
The National ABC at the Metro was something I will never forget. I learned so much and pulled a new deadlift PR. At one point, I and everyone working with me had Higa, Seath, Skiba, Ed Coan, Richard Hawthorne, Sam Byrd, Justin Randal and Stan Efferding offering advice and tips. No choice but to pull a PR. Was not bitching out in front of these people.

Sunday-Somehow I was lucky enough to be named an intern on my first trip to The Cage. This was the icing on top of the trip. I was put up front to keep people out of the electronic section of The Cage. I was close enough to watch all the work being done in The Cage and hear all of the seminars. I can't even call what I did work. The highlight of the day was finally meeting Juggernaut. We've hung out over in the Taxation thread for years and he has helped me get to the point where I am in my lifting career.
What I took most from being up close and personal with the Animal crew was not only the camaraderie, but the hilarity. The Animal athletes can turn it on when it's time to move weight, but in between there's joking and playing around. A true family.

The Cage was an awesome experience. If you have not been, put it on your bucket list and make it a point to go at least once. It is that insane. I wanted to spend a lot of time in The Cage as I am not sure when I'll be able to go again. However, I did not plan to spend as much time as I did there. More than 3/4 of my time at the expo was in The Cage because it was the place to be. I checked out the half naked chicks. I got the free samples. But I kept coming back to The Cage because it was real. The Cage was the only place with athletes moving weight.

I got back home with a fire under my ass. After listening to Vinnie G, G Diesel, Wrath and others talk, I've found a new focus, in the gym and out. The Cage was a great experience.

03-07-12, 5:10 pm
Glad you had a great time. That must have been insane at the National ABC for ya

Universal Rep
03-07-12, 6:35 pm
Awesome. All about Animal Brotherhood...

03-07-12, 6:40 pm
Gotta sub to this! Super to have met you, you have really dug in and made serious gains from the days you first set foot in here. Nothing but respect.

03-07-12, 6:41 pm
Great to meet ya bro! Glad to hear your first time was awesome.

03-09-12, 4:45 pm
Glad you had a good time brotha!